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24th Jun 2018

'No indication' VW used EU loans to cheat

  • Hoyer: "As far as we know – and we have investigated very, very thoroughly – our loans to Volkswagen have not been abused." (Photo: Dave Pinter)

The European Investment Bank (EIB) found no indication that its loans to German carmaker Volkswagen have been used to fund development of diesel cars involved in the emissions cheating scandal.

“We have not found any indication that our loans might have been used for fraudulent purposes,” said EIB chief Werner Hoyer at a press conference on Tuesday (24 January).

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“As far as we know – and we have investigated very, very thoroughly – our loans to Volkswagen have not been abused.”

After the Volkswagen Group admitted cheating on emissions tests in September 2015, the EIB began an investigation into whether any of its loans to VW had been used to fund the cheating software.

At a press conference in January 2016, Hoyer said he could not exclude the possibility of a link between a €400 million EIB loan to Volkswagen signed in 2009 and the emissions fraud.

On Tuesday, Hoyer repeated the bank was “disappointed” by Volkswagen's actions, considering the many VW projects EIB funded.

Also, because of the EIB's “commitment” to tackling climate change, “you want to be associated with partners who stick to their promises”.

Hoyer noted that there were no loans to VW “in the pipeline”, and that he did not expect any to be negotiated “in the foreseeable future”.

Last July, the EIB president said that lending may become more expensive for the firm.

He did not repeat that on Tuesday, although he did confirm that lending criteria “will be stricter”.

“Since we have learned, we are going to be more open-eyed than ever,” said Hoyer.

Car companies wanting a loan from the EU bank, can expect further scrutiny.

“We have learned the hard way," he said. "We are looking at all our corporate partners. One would have to be naive not to see that beyond Volkswagen other companies might be affected as well, so we are approaching this with open eyes.”

Investigation

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The European Investment Bank lent billions to carmakers, in part to clean up diesel cars. But diesel cars are still dirty, prompting questions if the money was well spent.

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The ECB has started to “bail out” Germany’s Volkswagen Group by buying its corporate bonds, but other EU-linked banks continue to shun the scandal-tainted firm.

Investigation

EU probe into VW loan remains opaque

EU anti-fraud agency and European Investment Bank tight-lipped on report that said Volkswagen deceived the bank when acquiring a €400 million loan.

EIB silent on report into 'fraudulent' VW loan

European Investment Bank vice-president Taylor tells EUobserver the fraud investigation into a €400 million EIB loan to Volkswagen had 'considerable ramifications', but didn't want to explain why the report was kept secret.

EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate

The president of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, said the bank had high standards - but did not explain why an anti-fraud report on a loan to Volkswagen was being kept secret.

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The risks behind the 'green bond' boom

The EU should not overuse the financial system in order to achieve environmental goals, or it risks the emergence of a green bond bubble which would be detrimental to the financial sector and hinder the achievement of climate targets.

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Both the examples of Greece and Italy test the limits of a system with inherent weaknesses that feeds internal gaps, strengthens deficits and debts in the European South, and surpluses in the European North respectively.

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